The End is Nigh! What Do We Eat?

A billboard at the corner of Western & Fountain avenues in L.A.
A billboard at the corner of Western & Fountain avenues in L.A.

Like bizarre, oversized "Save The Date" wedding cards, billboards warning of the impending Apocalypse have been popping up all over Los Angeles. Sponsored by Judgment Day fetishist Harold Camping and his Family Radio Network, they promote his "incontrovertible" theory that the beginning of the end happens on May 21st. Don't let his track record of lunacy and failure dissuade you.

Mountain House: Beef Stroganoff with Noodles

Sure, Camping has been wrong before. Like when he wrote an entire book predicting the Apocalypse would probably happen in 1994. (At least he equivocated by titling it 1994?.) This time, Camping is sure. He has "infallible proof." He's even beaten the Bible, which explicitly states, "no man knows the day nor the hour" of God's judgment (Matthew 24:36). Camping, alone among men, knows.

If you don't get Raptured to heaven and you somehow survive the floods, the earthquakes and the hyper-intelligent sharks shooting laser beams from their heads, then you'll be stuck here with the rest of us sinners, facing one looming question: What's for dinner?

Mountain House: Beef Stroganoff with Noodles Mountain House: Beef Stroganoff with Noodles

We start with our local sporting goods store, which has an aisle devoted to dehydrated foods made by a few main producers. Provided you have access to water and some kind of stove on which to heat it, you could still eat tolerably well in post-apocalypse LA. It's nowhere near the fresh, handmade tagliatelle at Osteria Momma, but Mountain House's beef stroganoff is actually decent with small, curling ribbons swimming in a bland, inoffensive sauce dotted with chunks of... meat? Soy protein? Both? At the very least, it's not worse than a package of Hamburger Helper.

Mountain House: Spaghetti with Meat Sauce Mountain House: Spaghetti with Meat Sauce

They key is to stir it well after you've poured in the hot water and allowed it to stand for 9 minutes. Otherwise, you'll end up with gobs of salty, texturized protein swimming in a milky sea of noodles.

Mountain House: Spaghetti with Meat Sauce

Sinners can't be choosers, but try to avoid Mountain House's spaghetti with meat sauce. Comprised of miniscule fingernail-length noodles in a sauce that looks bright orange and tastes vaguely acidic but is "tomato" in name only, it's below Chef Boyardee standards. When it's dry, it tastes even worse: unnaturally sweet and chemically. Not so for the beef stroganoff. If the Rapture doesn't arrive before the expiration date on your Mountain House beef stroganoff, the dry, salty crumbles of powdered sauce make a good, if freaky, popcorn topping.


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